A new beetle, Afrocupes firmae gen. et sp. nov. (Permocupedidae), from the late Palaeozoic Whitehill Formation of South Africa
An extensive array of Permian cupedoid beetles is known from Russia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. To date, only one cupedid beetle, Moltenocupes townrowi, from the Triassic Molteno Formation of South Africa and two permocupedidid beetles from the Permian Irati Formation of Brazil have been described. In this account a further permocupedidid beetle, Afrocupes firmae gen. et sp. nov., from the Permian Whitehill Formation of South Africa, is reported. The Whitehill Formation is the temporal and lithological correlate of the Irati Formation, and the discovery of A. firmae, which is the oldest beetle yet found on the African continent, provides further proof of the Parana-Karoo Basin linkage. The paucity of fossil insects from the Whitehill Formation is briefly discussed.